Chucky is back! Er, in a manner of speaking. Everybody’s favorite killer doll will return later this year in Child’s Play, a reboot of the franchise kick-started by the legendary Don Mancini and Tom Holland all the way back in 1988. The trailer has dropped and it sure is…something.
From Orion Pictures, Child’s Play 2019 is billed as a “contemporary re-imagining” of the original film. It follows Aubrey Plaza’s single mother, who gifts her young son (played by Gabriel Bateman) a Buddi doll, which is basically an A.I. toy with murderous intentions.
The flick is directed by Norwegian filmmaker Lars Klevberg (Polaroid) from a script by Tyler Burton Smith. Bryan Tyree Henry co-stars. Child’s Play boasts some heavy-hitter producers too, in the form of Seth Grahamhe-Smith and David Katzenberg, who produced the brilliant IT movie adaptation.
Separately to the upcoming film, series creator Mancini is working on a Chucky TV series for SyFy. Appearing on the Flickering Myth podcast towards the end of last year, Mancini had some choice words for the reboot and those behind it. He admitted to feeling hurt, particularly considering Chucky is still in pretty good health.
You know, I had just done two movies…forgive me if I sound defensive, [they] were both at 83 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Even though they didn’t get theatrical releases, they were well regarded. And I did create the character and nurture the franchise for three f*****g decades
Mancini revealed he did not sign off on the new film, and both he and producer David Kirschner refused to executive produce it themselves, when asked.
We have our ongoing thriving business with Chucky… The producers of that movie are the producers of It. How would they feel if there was some legal loophole that allowed David Kirschner and I to swoop in and make our own It movie with our own version of Pennywise and say, ‘Hey guys, we would love to put your names on it?’ I imagine they wouldn’t like it
Mancini went on to explain that it’s not about money, but about how personal Chucky is to him, and how Child’s Play 2019 might negatively affect his ability to revisit the killer doll on the big screen in future.
Echoing his sentiments, the legendary Jennifer Tilly, who features in the movies both as herself as well as voicing Chucky’s paramour Tiffany, took to Twitter to express her displeasure.
New “Chucky” movie? Ummm…no. Tiffany and I are gonna sit this one out.
The actress posted a photo of she and her doll counterpart, both wearing black apparently in mourning, alongside the message.
Although she and Mancini are rightfully upset their beloved killer doll is being taken from them and sold to a wider audience without their input, watching the trailer below, it’s difficult to imagine this so-called version of Chucky — sorry, Buddi — making any kind of impact.
Chucky simply isn’t Chucky without the voodoo, the vengeful spirit of a homicidal maniac, the voice of Brad Dourif, and everything else that makes this series so wonderful and that’s carried it through seven entries (some better than others, sure, but the latest two, Curse and Cult, are genuinely great).
This Child’s Play looks more like Five Nights At Freddy’s (which is also getting a movie, natch), which begs the question — why even bother with the Chucky myth at all if you’re just going to do an A.I. angle? We’ve had plenty of killer dolls lately with Annabelle, The Boy, et al. Launching a brand-new killer doll series would’ve made complete sense.
But, hey, attempting to profit off the Chucky name also makes a certain amount of sense. Especially when you’re going to call the doll Buddi instead. Check out the trailer below and sound off in the comments about whether this looks like a proper Chucky movie or a shameless ripoff (though you won’t see much of the doll in it, just as a warning).
Child’s Play hits theaters on June 21, 2019. We’ll keep you updated as the date draws closer.